ABC scored a win on the first official night of the new TV season with Monday Night Football and its flip-flopping coverage of the Giants-Saints and Redskins-Cowboys games. But the network's cheerleaders weren't the only ones whose chants of "Gimme a... chance!" did some good. NBC's sea-monster mash Surface hooked 10.9 million viewers, and CBS' more-promising-than-its-commercials-led-me-to-expect How I Met Your Mother actually improved on its lead-in, The King of Queens. (Mother attracted an audience of 10.6 million; Queens, only 10.4 million, proving once and for all that Alyson Hannigan is way cuter than Leah Remini.) CBS also killed the competition with the fourth-season premiere of CSI: Miami (which slayed 18.6 million viewers).
(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.)